Biology Experiment


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Biology Experiment

Hypothesis

I predict that the potatoes in the solution with high sugar
concentration will increase in mass the most, the potatoes in the
water with no sugar will lose the most mass.

Osmosis is the movement of water from a high concentration to a low
concentration across a particularly permeable membrane. The water can
move between the potato and the solution but the sugar can’t because
the molecules are too big to pass through the membrane. The water
will move between the solution and the potato. If the net movement of
water is from the potato then the potato will decrease in mass, it
will also become flaccid. If the net movement of water is from the
solution then the potato will increase in mass and become turgid.
This is because the vacuole pushes against the cell wall.

When the sugar concentration is 0% the potato will gain mass because
there is a higher concentration of sugar inside the potato. The
potato will weigh more because the vacuole has gained water and become
turgid. It will be harder and won’t be floppy

When the concentration is 12.5% the potato’s mass will not change much
because the sugar concentration inside the potato is approximately
12.5%.the cells vacuole will stay almost the same as it was when it
was put into the sugar solution.

When the concentration is 20% the potato’s mass will decrease because
the net movement will be from the potato to the sugar solution. The
stronger sugar concentration is outside of the potato so the vacuole
will become smaller and the potato will be flaccid, so it will be
floppy and soft.

Preliminary Work

I carried out a preliminary experiment to find out which potato size
will be best for the experiment, the best size will need to provide
more accurate and relevant results.

The apparatus that I used for the experiment was;

· Potatoes slices x 20

· Scalpel

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· Tile

· Scales

· Sugar Solutions

· Boiling Tubes x 5

· Test Tube Rack

· Measuring Cylinder

· Marking Pens

Method

For the preliminary experiment I started by getting the right
equipment out. I then got the potato and cut it into 20 chips using
the scalpel, 5 of them 3cm and 5 of them 5cm long, with the same
widths. After I weighed each of the cut potato pieces and record the
masses in a table. I then measured out 25ml of the water solutions,
one 0% sugar, one 2.5% sugar, one 5% sugar, one7.5% sugar, one 10%
sugar, one 12.5% sugar, one 15% sugar, one 17.5% sugar and one 20%
sugar. I put one 3cm potato slice and one 5cm potato slice into each
boiling tube with the sugar solutions in. After this the potato
slices had to be left for about twenty four hours so there was enough
time for osmosis to take place. After the twenty for hours I weighed
all the potato slices

Sugar Solution %

Mass Of Potato At Start (g)

Mass Of Potato At End(g)

Change In Mass(g)

3cm 5cm

3cm 5cm

3cm

5cm

A B

A B

A

B

0

0.91 2.81

1.05 3.42

0.14

0.61

5

1.17 2.32

1.25 2.45

0.08

0.13

10

1.17 2.95

1.19 2.99

0.02

0.04

15

1.09 2.89

1.03 2.81

-0.06

-0.08

20

1.77 3.09

1.01 2.69

-0.7

-0.4

From the preliminary experiment I learned that using the potato slice
that was 5cm gave a set of results that were too varied and ranged for
the actual experiment, this could be because it is harder to keep the
width the same when the slice is longer so it could produce varied
results. When the sugar in the solution was 0% the change in mass
for the 3cm chip was 0.14g which sustained the pattern from the
results, the 5cm slice increased in mass by 0.61 grams. h. In
addition, when the sugar in the solution was 20% the change in mass
for the 3cm chip was -0.7. This continued the fashion of the three
previous results, gradually decreasing from 0.08g to 0.02g to -0.06
and to -0.07. The 5cm chip provided an anomalous result because its
change in mass went from 0.04g to -0.08 and finally to -0.4 which is
far too low to fit in properly with its trend.

The results prove my prediction to be right, the potato in low sugar
concentration gained mass because the stronger solution was the
potato. The potato slices in the high sugar concentration lost the
most mass because the strongest was the solution


Actual Investigation

In the actual investigation I should be able to back up my prediction
and I aim to find out how the sugar concentration effects the movement
of water in and out of a potato slice. In the experiment we used
scalpels so we had to be careful not cut our selves or anyone else
when using them, we also had to make sure we did not leave any of the
glass boiling tubes in places where they could smash.

Equipment

· Potatoes slices x 20

· Scalpel

· Tile

· Scales

· Sugar Solutions

· Measuring Cylinder

· Boiling Tubes x 9

· Test Tube Rack

· Marking Pens

Method

For the actual experiment we used the same method, but we only used
3cm potato slices because they give more accurate results, we also did
more tests. For instance we tested solutions of 2.5%, 7.5, 12.5, 17.5
as well as 0%, 5%, 10%, 15%, and 20% to give more results.

* We cut up 18 equal slices of potato that are 3cm long and all the
same thickness to make it a fair test.

* We then measure out 9, 25cl sugar and water solutions into boiling
tubes. They all have different sugar solutions in.

* We put 2 slices of potato in each tube in case we get an anomalous
result from 1 of the slices.

* We left the potato slices in the solutions over night.

* After the potato slices had been in the solution for a long enough
time we took them out an weighed them all again. We calculated any
changes in mass.

The results I recorded

Solution’s Sugar Concentration %

Mass Of Potato At Start (g)

Mass Of Potato At End (g)

A

B

A

B

0

2.51

2.05

2.95

2.49

2.5

1.5

1.86

1.71

2.09

5

1.43

1.66

1.56

1.85

7.5

2.18

1.66

2.3

1.75

10

2.17

1.87

2.29

2.02

12.5

1.39

1.97

1.4

2

15

1.83

1.55

1.84

1.53

17.5

1.59

2.05

1.5

1.87

20

1.43

1.54

1.32

1.46

Solution’s Sugar Concentration %

Change In Mass (g)

Change In Mass (%)

A

B

A

B

0

0.44

0.44

17.53

21.49

2.5

0.21

0.23

14

12.37

5

0.13

0.19

9.09

11.45

7.5

0.12

0.09

5.5

5.42

10

0.12

0.15

5.53

8.02

12.5

0.01

0.03

0.72

1.52

15

0.01

-0.02

0.55

-1.29

17.5

-0.09

-0.18

-5.66

-8.78

20

-0.11

-0.08

-7.69

-5.19

Solution’s Sugar Concentration %

Average Change In Mass (%)

Average Change In Mass (g)

0

19.495

0.66

2.5

13.185

0.325

5

10.27

0.225

7.5

5.46

0.165

10

6.77

0.195

12.5

1.12

0.025

15

-0.37

0

17.5

-7.22

-0.18

20

-6.44

-0.15


Conclusion

From this experiment I have found that a potato in water with little
or no sugar will gain mass by gaining water and a potato in a solution
with a high sugar concentration will lose mass by losing water. This
is proved by the results, in water with 0% sugar the potato went up in
mass by 19.495%. A potato slice in a solution with 20% sugar
decreased in mass by 6.44%.

Explanation

The reason why the potato slices changes mass is because the water
moves from the boiling tube to the potato slice and from the potato
slice to the boiling tube. This is called osmosis. Osmosis is the
movement of water from a high concentration to a low concentration
across a particularly permeable membrane. The water can move between
the potato and the solution but the sugar can’t because the molecules
are too big to pass through the membrane.

Do the Results Agree with my Prediction?

The majority of my results do follow my prediction. My prediction for
0%, 12.5% and 20% were almost completely correct, the potato in the
12.5% solution gained mass by 1.12%. This is in agreement with my
prediction because I said that there would be little or no change.
The potato in a 0% sugar solution increased the most and the potato
slice in the 20% sugar solution lost the most mass.

Anomalies

Anomalies are results that don’t fit into the pattern of the other
results. If you look at the graph, there are four results that could
be seen as anomalies, these results are the averages for the 20% sugar
concentration, 7.5%, 10% and 17.5%. They are too far from the line of
best fit to be accurate

What caused the anomalies?

One thing that could have made the results unfair could be that the
potatoes were measured in length and nothing else, the width and
height were only done approximately. This could be a problem because
some potato slices will have a larger surface area and the potato
slices can be different shapes. To make all the slices the same, we
could have used a machine or piece of equipment that would make all
the slices exactly the same.

Anomalies could have been caused by the sugar solutions being measured
wrongly. This would make osmosis happen at a different rate giving
wrong results. Having more than one solution for each strength so
there are 18 in total could stop this problem.

Some of the potatoes had a skin on them. Less water might travel
through the skin so the results will be different for the slices that
had skin on. A way to stop this is to make sure all slices have no
skin on them.

How Could I Extend the Experiment?

To get more results, I could have done a wider range of tests. In the
experiment I did the highest sugar concentration was 20%. 20% sugar
may not have been enough because the weight of the potato had not
stopped changing, I would want the tests to show how much mass a
potato slice can lose because of osmosis. If I do the experiment
again I would keep adding sugar until the potato can’t change in mass
anymore.

Another way to extend the experiment would be to put the potato slices
in solutions with things other than sugar, like salt for instance to
see how it affects the rate of osmosis. This will give a wider look
at osmosis

Temperature might affect osmosis so doing tests in different
temperature would give a greater understanding of how osmosis works


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